We can probably all agree that nobody really wants to wear a face mask right now, but the fact of the matter is they’re quickly becoming an essential accessory in everyday life. However, the standard blue face masks you can get from hospitals, and by the bulk load are pretty ugly, and we reckon that has something to do with the lack of uptake from the general public.
It’s clearly a theory many fashion brands have had as well, as we’ve seen a whole wave of masks appearing from some of our favourite designers. They, of course, not only a serve a purpose to protect you and the wider public from contracting The Virus, but they also serve as a genuine fashion accessory and one that can easily transform any outfit.
Features of a good face mask
When it comes to buying a face mask, you’ll need to make sure you can get a tight but comfortable fit around your face. You don’t want any gaps at the top or sides, as this will make it completely redundant. Most masks have elasticated sides, able to stretch to virtually any size, and some have flexible wire in the main section to mould to your face.
For a face mask to be effective it should also have multiple layers of fabric to act as a filtration system, but also to allow you to breathe normally. You don’t want to be taking your mask off all the time to inhale large amounts of air. You may have seen mention of N95 filters online, but you’re unlikely to get a mask with one of these as they need to be reserved for healthcare workers.
Caring for your mask
It’s recommended that you wash your face mask before the first wear and after each wear. Put it on and remove it using the handles rather than holding the main piece that goes over your mouth, and don’t pull it down to your neck when you need to remove it. Your neck can be a stomping ground for germs and bacteria, so putting your mask here will just transfer a layer to it.
We’ve also seen stories online of people microwaving their masks in an attempt to kill any bacteria. This, and we cannot stress this enough, is NOT a wise thing to do. Do not microwave your mask. Microwaving = Not. Good.
How to make a face mask?
Why make one when you can buy one for cheap? Even better, get a designer mask and be the talk of the town.
Do face masks work?
Yes. They reduce the spread of germs.
Where to buy face masks?
Face masks are available at most pharmacies, however many fashion brands are now making affordable fabric masks.
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Here are some of the coolest face masks around to give you perfect pandemic protection. However, bear in mind that many of them require a filter to be inserted, which you’ll have to buy separately.
His face masks are no different. Made from a cotton jersey fabric with space to insert a filter and will perfectly conform to the natural contours of your face. Better still, for every mask purchased, Todd Snyder will donate one to US charity Good360, which will provide a mask to a hospital in greatest need in NYC. Prices start at US$27.
The Fearless Mask uses 100 per cent Italian raw denim, mated to an inner layer of antibacterial cotton to produce a breathable yet leakproof mask that's as stylish as it is functional. Large elastics go round the ears for a secure, yet comfortable fit. Very rock 'n' roll. Price: US$30.
Their five packs of face masks is part of that collection, so not only will you be doing yourself a favour by buying a pack, but you'll be helping out someone less fortunate at the same time. They're made from a double-layer knit fabric to help filter out germs while remaining soft and comfortable on your face, and are available in a few colour variants. Price: US$36 for a pack of five.
This triple-pack of tie dye face masks is the perfect embodiment of that, being made from 100 per cent cotton and rocking three very different tie dye patterns. 10 per cent of each sale will be given to UCLA Health Research & Education. Price: US$65 for a pack of three.
Coming from a sporting background, Under Armour knows all about breathing too, so its face mask is made from its own high-performance materials which remain comfortable when worn all day, and provides optimum airflow. The outer shell is water-resistant, while the inner layer has been given an anti-microbial treatment to keep it fresher for longer. Price: US$30.
The company's range of face masks is exceptionally cool, with most maks sporting an arrows motif on the front (which can also be found on various other pieces in the company's clothing collection). Some masks have the traditional elastic over the ears, but others have top and bottom-mounted straps that stretch around the back of your head for a completely secure and snug fit. Prices start at US$90.
Mostly Heard Rarely Seen
MHRS's range of face masks are all made from 100 per cent nylon and attach around your ears by way of elasticated straps with adjustable toggles. They have a fantastic range of colours and prints, any of which will elevate your pandemic outfits. Prices start at US$65.
Isaac Sellam Experience
Isaac Sellam Experience's range of masks have a 100 percent calf leather outer layer and either a 100 percent linen or cotton lining (depending on which style you go for). All masks have elasticated straps that feature a prominent stitching design, something the brand is known for. Prices start at US$125.
The company's jersey fabric has been channelled into this face mask, which being all-black, makes it very much a unisex product. There is an embossed logo on the front and 100 percent of net proceeds from sales of this mask will be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts. You'll look good and feel good with this mask. Price: US$35.